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Old 02-14-2007, 07:45 PM   #46
blitzkreig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockWells
My barber-ette uses a straight razor for shaves here in CowTown. Cindy's her name, rather cute, for a girl. Dennis Barber Shop & Salon. Always done me right.
OK ... gime a hand ... exactly where in cowtown?
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:48 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzkreig
You got an address ... something to find this guy? Thanks ...
Farzad's Barbershop - Yaletown Barber
126 - 1208 Homer Street
Vancouver BC, V6B 2Y5, Canada

* Phone: 604-408-0060

Tell him Dave the guy who rides his 250 all year round sent you.
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Old 02-14-2007, 07:48 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzkreig
OK ... gime a hand ... exactly where in cowtown?
Vacaville off of I-80. Vaca is Spanish for cow. Not too many Spanish city names in Canada, eh?
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:17 PM   #49
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I've been wanting to do this now for a while. Think I might try to order some stuff this weekend.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:34 PM   #50
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I tired for about 6 months to get it down and i just kept knicking myself. I used hot towls to prep the hair on my face and make it soft and I used a strop (canvas side then horse leather side) to sharpen it after and before every shave. Good luck.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:17 AM   #51
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A steady hand helps. (Oh, and lay off the PCP beforehand).

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Old 02-15-2007, 05:48 AM   #52
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Quote:
What's the trick to a straight razor?
Don't get it near your penis.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:06 AM   #53
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobFV1


Don't get it near your penis.


I'd love to try a straight razor (on my face) but I'm scared I'd bleed out in the process. I too have a beard that eats Gillette blades for breakfast. I'm using the 5-bladed thing they sell now, and even at Costco the blades cost a small fortune. I miss my old Atra.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:49 AM   #54
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If you're in the Bay Area:

Quote:
Years before there was such a thing as a "metrosexual," manly men went about their manly business -- taming the land, cornering markets, winning the game ... and getting facials.

Only back then, they were called "shaves." After all, what precinct boss or industrialist wanted the world to know that several times a week he sat in a comfortable chair to have his craggy face exfoliated, moisturized, massaged and preened?

Indeed, a professional shave, for all its rugged overtones, is perhaps the supreme act of self-pampering a man can indulge in. Sadly, with the advent of safety razors, few men indulge on a regular basis these days.

Finding a barber practiced in the art of the shave is more difficult than it used to be, but scattered about the Bay Area are a few keepers of the flame.

Surprisingly, none of them can be found at the city's elegant Nob Hill hotels, many of which maintain salons on the premises but haven't offered a shave in years. Nor do San Francisco's most exclusive men's clubs have a barber on hand, with the notable exception of the Bohemian Club on Taylor Street.

Still, both the hotels and clubs are a good place to start looking. The concierges and receptionists at the Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Ritz-Carlton and Pacific Union Club recommend the Exchange on Pine Street, while their counterparts at the Huntington and Concordia Club direct callers to the St. Moritz Salon at the Grand Hyatt hotel on Union Square.

Like music to your chin

"It is almost like a facial," says Celestino "Sal" Labrador, the shaving specialist at the St. Moritz. "You're eliminating the dead skin along with the whiskers."

Dapper in his colorful waistcoat and neatly trimmed mustache, Labrador welcomes a new customer with questions about sensitive skin and preferred heat for the towel wraps he will use to soften up facial hair. "Let's go with medium heat," he suggests to the newbie who, with false bravado, asks for the hottest on offer.

"Lean back, relax, take a nap if you want to," he says with the reassuring tones of an airline captain calming jittery passengers after takeoff. "I'm in control."

A barber for 26 years, Labrador works hard to put clients at ease. After all, he notes, getting a shave means lying supine while a stranger stands over you with a murderously sharp metal instrument poised at your jugular.

Sometimes, however, he can't help himself. "You don't owe anybody money, do you?" he jokes halfway through a shave, referencing a common scene in mob movies where an unsuspecting victim gets bumped off by the barber.

There's something decidedly appropriate about getting a shave from a fellow named Sal. The New York Giants' Sal Maglie earned the nickname "The Barber" for his propensity to pitch the ball high and tight, and Sal Labrador exhibits an athlete's touch as his fingers drum a dexterous beat upon a customer's skin between towel wraps.

"You've got to have that touch, that technique, to know how much to soften up the beard, to get the angle [of the razor] right," he says. "You have to go with the grain on the first shave and against it on the second."

While he has been shaving men's faces for a long time, Labrador departs from tradition in small ways -- he recommends a moisturizer as an aftershave rather than an astringent -- and large -- he eschews a folding straight razor for an injector that uses disposable blades.

The right equipment

For a shave that's truly traditional, down to the vaguely disturbing sound of German-made straight razors being sharpened on Pearlduck strops, Victor Espinoza is your man.

The native of Valparaiso, Chile, began his professional career in his hometown in 1959 and has been scraping men's chins at the Exchange since 1974.

He proudly displays his arsenal of cold German steel. Espinoza owns razors from the great Solingen manufacturers, a who's who of shaving outfitters that includes Graef & Schmidt, Wester Bros. and A. Henckels Twin Works. Some of Espinoza's razors are more than 100 years old.

In the heart of the Financial District, the Exchange is an old-fashioned, no-frills establishment. A barber pole spins lazily outside, a short staircase leads down to a white-tiled floor and six antique barber chairs. Swept hair piles up in the corners and barbershop banter zings back and forth, from station to station.

Yet for all the old-time ambience at the Exchange, Espinoza is the sole shaving practitioner. "The young guys, they don't want me to teach them," he says. "I don't know -- maybe they're afraid of the razors."

A dying art

It all raises a perplexing question. What happened to the professional shave?

We might start by trotting out the usual suspects who have made shaving oneself so much easier over the years. These include William Henson, inventor of the first "hoe-type" razor in 1847; the Kampfe brothers, who patented the first true safety razor in 1880; King Camp Gillette, who dreamed up the disposable blade in 1895 and tirelessly promoted it to his great fortune in the decades that followed; Willis G. Shockey, who developed a windup razor in 1910 that was the forerunner of the electric razor; and Jacob Schick, creator of the magazine repeating razor and injector razor.

Or we might go back a bit further, to 1770, the year that French barber Jean-Jacques Perret penned "La Pogonotomie," or, "The Art of Learning to Shave Oneself," a book of expert advice that surely pleased literate DIYers of the time as much as it dismayed his fellow barbers.

The rising cost of a professional shave has no doubt added to its demise. What once famously cost two bits will now set you back $18 at the Exchange and a whopping $35-$45 at the St. Moritz. And that's without the haircut thrown in.

Add in modern concerns about blood-borne illnesses and it's no surprise that the art of shaving is a dying one.

One San Francisco barber who asked not to be named says he'll do shaves as a special request, but doesn't list the service on his price board because he's not interested in making it a regular part of his business.

"Shaving was dying out and then the AIDS scare really killed it," he says. "Nowadays, I'll do a shave once in a while, it's usually for a wedding or somebody from out of town. Like a European will come over and his electric razor doesn't work.

"But I really don't like doing it."

A world of difference

For most men, there's simply no substitute for a professional shave, says men's grooming expert Carmelo Guastella, owner of London's upscale Melogy Salon and a consultant to several British men's publications.

"I can say by my personal experience that 97 out of 100 customers are happier with my professional shaving," says the Sicilian-born Guastella, the creator of prank interviewer Ali G's distinctive, devilishly perfect goatee. Besides Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian and provocateur who plays both Ali G and the tragically clueless Borat, Guastella counts among his celebrity clients actor Freddie Prinze Jr. and soccer stars Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker.

Guastella describes a proper professional shave as "close, smooth, no irritation ... and no nicks."

"The customer expects a professional shave to be an experience," he adds. "The close shave must be a relaxing experience, just sit back, close your eyes and enjoy.

"The professional shave should start with a consultation. Do you suffer from [skin] irritation, are you happy with your own shave, are you sensitive to certain products, etc."

After finding out about a client's skin condition, Guastella will not hesitate to turn some away.

"The 3 percent I mentioned before are people that have irritation and ingrown hairs," he says. "They expect a close shave, which is impossible.

"I have turned people away that have such expectations. I tell them not to shave for a few days and when they shave again to do it with the direction of the hair and not thinking about how close it is."

Some men with very sensitive skin, particularly those with tight, curly facial hair, opt for chemical depilatories such as Nair and Veet that dissolve hair above the skin. Of course, such products can also cause irritation and allergic reactions. For those whose skin problems persist after following Guastella's advice or trying a depilatory, a consultation with a dermatologist is recommended.

A small but loyal following

Both Labrador and Espinoza cut more hair than they shave chins. Still, those regular customers that they have are fanatically loyal. Labrador counts among his clients Marv Albert, Eddie Fisher and Chris Gardner, the former homeless person turned stock broker whose book, "The Pursuit of Happyness" has been turned into a Will Smith movie shot in San Francisco. (Gardner has his head shaved at the St. Moritz on a regular basis.) Espinoza has one customer whom he has shaved every Thursday for more than 25 years.

Other clients come to them for special events, particularly weddings. Espinoza says he can make $100 or more shaving a groom for a Saturday wedding, because he has to open the Exchange on a day it's normally closed.

Of course, any man who waits to get married before getting his first proper shave may well discover that $100 was the smallest price he had to pay that day.
The straight stuff

Here's a guide to straight razor shaves available in the Bay Area.

SAN FRANCISCO

St. Moritz Salon, Grand Hyatt, 425 Sutter St., (415) 421-7022, $35-$45.

Union Square Gentry, 351 Geary St., (415) 362-2337, $40.

Bob Gomez Hair Styling, 330 Sutter St., (415) 781-1490, $35.

Sario's Hair Design, 128 Columbus Ave., (415) 421-4062, $20.

Chong's Barber & Beauty Shop, 1335 Grant Ave., (415) 956-6878, $18.

Exchange Barber Shop, 435 Pine St., (415) 956-9658, $18.

Futaba Hair Salon, 1610 Post St., Suite 105, (415) 921-4859, $15-$18.

Arcade Barber Shop, 564 Market St., (415) 956-4049, $15.

L & C Salon, 456 Larkin St., (415) 928-4898, $15.

The New Chicago Barber Shop, 1551 Fillmore St., (415) 563-9793, $12.

Willy's Barber Shop, 3227 22nd St., (415) 826-2344, $12.

Esquire Barber Shop, 1826 Geary Blvd., (415) 921-4636, $10.

Seventh Street Haircutters, 8 Seventh St., (415) 861-1656, $10.

Art's Hair Salon, Cathedral Hill Hotel, 1101 Van Ness Ave., (415) 474-4644, $15.

EAST BAY

Al's Barber Shop, 1429 23rd Ave., Oakland, (510) 436-9705, $16.

Jackson's Barber Shop, 4500 Ygnacio Ave., Oakland, (510) 436-9981, $10.

San Pablo Barber Shop, 2365 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, (510) 841-9453, $8.

NORTH BAY

Nancy's Barber Shop, 530 Third St., San Rafael, (415) 456-5999, $20.

SOUTH BAY

Billie's Barber Shop, 349 E. Hedding St., San Jose, (408) 286-2424, $20.

Broadway Barber Shop, 427 Broadway St., Millbrae, (650) 697-7877 $15.

Matt's Barber Shop, 1012 Oak Grove Ave., Burlingame, (650) 342-1602, $15.

Shoreview Barber Shop, 470 S. Norfolk St., San Mateo, (650) 347-9704, $15.
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Old 02-15-2007, 06:53 AM   #55
Flash412
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SIX Blades?!

When Gillette came out with those dual-blade disposible razors back in the 70's, I thought to myself, "If two blades are better, why not FIVE?" Razor blade escalation has finally heated up to the point where Gillette has released a razor called the Fusion. It has SIX blades. There are five blades on the front, along with a rubber bumper and a teflon strip. There is one more blade and another teflon strip on the back for trimming sideburns or carving designs. Out of the clear blue, Gillette sent me one in the mail. I tried it this morning. NICE RAZOR...

http://www.gillettefusion.com/us/

Think the Mach 3 is the shit? This thing shaves 30% closer. (WtF?)
http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/14/news...e500/gillette/

Want one for free? Fill out this survey...
http://gilletterazor.shopherefree.ne...FRNGGAodUA4suQ

Disclaimer: I don't work for Gillette. Hell, I don't shave all that much, just my neck cuz I have a full beard. But this razor has impressed me so I thought I'd mention it.

Note: NOTHING beats hot towels and mint shave cream while layed back in a professional barber's chair and the closeness of a shave with a straight razor wielded by said professional. (Ok... so maybe bewbies has that beat. But this is a close second when it comes to sensual delights.)
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:14 AM   #56
Jarvis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash412
When Gillette came out with those dual-blade disposible razors back in the 70's, I thought to myself, "If two blades are better, why not FIVE?" Razor blade escalation has finally heated up to the point where Gillette has released a razor called the Fusion. It has SIX blades. There are five blades on the front, along with a rubber bumper and a teflon strip. There is one more blade and another teflon strip on the back for trimming sideburns or carving designs. Out of the clear blue, Gillette sent me one in the mail. I tried it this morning. NICE RAZOR...

http://www.gillettefusion.com/us/

Think the Mach 3 is the shit? This thing shaves 30% closer. (WtF?)
http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/14/news...e500/gillette/

Want one for free? Fill out this survey...
http://gilletterazor.shopherefree.ne...FRNGGAodUA4suQ

Disclaimer: I don't work for Gillette. Hell, I don't shave all that much, just my neck cuz I have a full beard. But this razor has impressed me so I thought I'd mention it.

Note: NOTHING beats hot towels and mint shave cream while layed back in a professional barber's chair and the closeness of a shave with a straight razor wielded by said professional. (Ok... so maybe bewbies has that beat. But this is a close second when it comes to sensual delights.)


I have the one with the single AA battery, and it vibrates.

Really makes for a nice shave. I have one of those fog-free shower mirrors too. Makes all the difference in the world.
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:25 AM   #57
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I got a shaving set for christmas and what I found makes a huge difference when using a traditional razor is the weight of the handle. This set I got is solid nickel and the razor accepts the Mach 3 blades and I have to say having the extra weight in your hand when shaving makes a much improved difference over the lightweight handle the mach 3 comes with. Also a good boars bristle brush and shave soap works well compared to gillete foam crap. Then using a high quality face lotion like that from Anthony Logistics also helps the whole process.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:43 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvis
Really makes for a nice shave. I have one of those fog-free shower mirrors too. Makes all the difference in the world.
I don't get that, I've never used a mirror to shave, don't need too, just shave in the shower, no problems. Why do you need a mirror?
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:00 PM   #59
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Good stories.

I used to shave with my grandfather's straight razor until it was stolen. I wanted to replace it, but it was too expensive.

For about 10 you can get a Turkish shave at the local mosque.
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Old 02-15-2007, 10:52 PM   #60
twinrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commuter Boy
I don't get that, I've never used a mirror to shave, don't need too, just shave in the shower, no problems. Why do you need a mirror?

Helps a lot if you're shaving around a beard.
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